What Is a Half Marathon?


Quick Answer

A half marathon is a foot race in which participants travel 13.1 miles at their own pace, usually after months of preparation prior to the event. Proper preparation includes practice, managing rest days and staying hydrated.

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Full Answer

A half marathon is usually an organized event, but it can also be personally arranged. Novice runners often attempt a half marathon event prior to completing a full 26.2-mile marathon.

There are many reasons to choose a half marathon instead of a standard marathon, such as a lower chance for injury, shorter period of recovery and less training time. Both full and half marathons offer a sense of accomplishment upon completion, but require training, maintenance and preparation.

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